Ax Facts & Stats with Judas Priest’s K.K. Downing

British metal legends Judas Priest have announced their farewell tour “Epitaph” for 2011, so this seemed like perfect timing when Dave Roberts of sent us through his latest Ax & Facts.

K.K. Downing

My name is:
K.K. Downing.

My current job is:
Guitarist with Judas Priest.

Former bands:

My guitar influences growing up were:
Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Peter Green, and Gary Moore.

The guitars I use are:
Various makes of Flying Vs.

The strings and tunings I use are:
Dean Markley Speedloaders.

My current rig setup consists of:
Marshall 9100 power amps, with Jmp 1pre amp and vintage cabs.

The greatest invention for guitars is:
Floyd Rose Speed loader Trem.

My normal songwriting process consists of:
Hard work, some luck, hopefully talent, and loads of beer.

My favorite guitar solo from our band:
Trade-offs in “Hell Rider.”

My favorite all-time guitar solo (from another guitarist):
Anything from Jimi Hendrix.

Favorite all-time song (any artist) is:
“Voodoo Chile” Jimi Hendrix

Favorite song by our band:
“Screaming for Vengeance.”

Favorite song to perform in front of a live audience:

My Career highlights thus far are:
Playing Live Aid and winning a Grammy.

Other than my guitar and amps, the one piece of my gear that I cannot live without is:
Wah pedal.

The first song I ever mastered on guitar:
“Wild Thing” – The Troggs.

My first guitar was:
Some 6 string acoustic.

The first time I ever heard our band on the radio was:
I think around 1975 sitting in my old banger outside Wolverhampton dog track.

If I am only sure of one thing in life, it’s:
Only for the strong-minded.

The one ritual I always perform prior to going on stage is:
Having a pee and cleaning my teeth!

The exact moment I knew I would pursue a career in music was:
When I got fired from my previous job.

The best advice I could give beginning guitarists:
Learn how to use tab and practice scales.

CD(s) I’m listening to right now:
Richie Kotzen.

My 3 all-time favorite albums:
Are You Experienced, Fresh Cream, and No Heavy Petting.

Best gig:
Hendrix at Coventry Theatre.

What I like to do in my “off” time:
Golf, Tennis, and Pubs.

I couldn’t imagine being on the road without:

If I wasn’t doing the musician thing, I could really see myself working as:
Record Producer.

Favorite movie:
Life of Brian.

My mission in life:
To create music that people want to hear.

My next goal is:
Try and play countries where we have never played for the fans.

The greatest contribution guitars/music have brought into my life is:
Given me the opportunity to express myself through the music that I play.

The one musician I would love to work with that I have not yet had the chance would be:
No one particularly springs to mind at the moment.

When it’s all said and done, I want the world to remember me for:
My devotion to the music.

Copyright 2010 Dave Roberts & – (Photo courtesy Judas Priest).

1 thought on “Ax Facts & Stats with Judas Priest’s K.K. Downing”

  1. Yes, Speedloaders...

    The Speedloader trem has got to be one of the great inventions. Nothing is a bigger pain than snipping off ball ends and trying to get the tension just right.

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